Moscow, July 24 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday signed a bill into law that toughens maximum punishment for match-fixing.
Athletes, coaches and sports officials betting on their own sports would be sentenced up to seven years behind bars with a maximum one million ruble (about $30,000) fine for those convicted, according to the law, which was proposed by Putin himself in January, reports Xinhua.
Match-fixing is thought to be common in Russian football as the country is to host the 2018 World Cup.
Meanwhile, the culprits were rarely held to account. The governor of Kaliningrad, one of the World Cup host cities, last month admitted asking his local football team to drop points because promotion meant that the club would swallow extra state subsidies.
An international football players' association claimed last year that one in 10 footballers in Russia has at some point received an offer to fix a game.